Detroit Lions TE T.J. Hockenson undergoes thumb surgery, out for season: Report

Detroit Free Press

Pro Bowl tight end T.J. Hockenson, the Detroit Lions‘ leading receiver, will miss the rest of the season after undergoing thumb surgery, ESPN reported.

Hockenson has not practiced since suffering the injury in practice last Wednesday, though both he and Lions coach Dan Campbell expressed optimism he would not have to miss time with the injury.

“It’ll be fine,” Hockenson said last week. “No worries here.”

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According to ESPN, Hockenson visited hand specialist Dr. Thomas Graham for surgery Thursday.

Hockenson, coming off his first Pro Bowl, leads the Lions with 61 catches for 583 yards and four receiving touchdowns.

Last year, he set career-highs with 67 catches for 723 yards and six TDs.

Hockenson has been the Lions’ most reliable passing game weapon this season and a favorite target of quarterback Jared Goff.

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Undrafted rookie Brock Wright played as the Lions’ No. 1 tight end in last week’s loss to the Denver Broncos, with practice squad rookie Shane Zylstra filling the receiving role.

Wright has seven catches for 62 yards this season, the same number of receptions he had in his college career at Notre Dame.

Lions tight ends coach Ben Johnson said last week Wright, the Lions’ best blocking tight end, was an underrated as receiver.

“He kind of got a little bit passed over while he was at Notre Dame, but it wasn’t so much because of his skill set, it was just more, ‘Hey, we’re going to put you more in the blocking because you’re better than these guys maybe in that role, and we’ll get them the ball,'” Johnson said. “So he’s kind of a double whammy for him on that. But he can play. He can play ball in this league.”

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The Lions (1-11-1) could be without their second-leading receiver, running back D’Andre Swift for the third straight week Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals because of a shoulder injury.

Swift has not practiced since injuring his shoulder in a Thanksgiving loss to the Chicago Bears.

Offensive linemen Jonah Jackson (back) and Will Holden (undisclosed), linebacker Julian Okwara (ankle) and practice squad receiver Geronimo Allison (undisclosed) also did not practice.

Contact Dave Birkett at Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.

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